Safari in Kenya

Kenya was one of the original safari destinations, and with good reason. The country is home to an astounding 25,000 different animal species, including all of the iconic safari fauna – lions, giraffes, elephants and zebras among them.
No matter how many wildlife documentaries you may have watched, nothing prepares you for the real thing. A safari holiday should be on everyone’s wish list of life’s greatest adventures. In Swahili (Kenya’s official language), the word itself translates as “going on a journey”. The need to reach out and touch the wild, to spend time in the sun and under the stars and come face to face with Africa’s storybook animals, not behind bars but moving free as the wind across the savannah – these are what make this a holiday like no other.
So where should you go for your first taste of safari life? Kenya’s most popular safari destination is the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It’s a natural favorite for first-timers, and it takes only around six hours to fly from Beirut to Nairobi.
This is where the BBC’s Big Cat Diary was filmed, and there is nowhere better for close encounters with lions, cheetahs and leopards. Travel between July and October to see the wildebeest migration, the greatest wildlife show on earth. Very different are the dry country parks of northern Kenya. Samburu is renowned for elephants, Meru was the home of Elsa, the Born Free lioness, and Lake Nakuru National Park is a showcase for flamingos and rhinos. Tsavo is so big it is split into two parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West, and combines well with a trip to Kenya’s glorious Indian Ocean coast. Also well worth considering are Laikipia, Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills.
A truly magical experience would be seeing the great wildebeest migration! The sights, sounds and smells of such a vast number of wildebeest and zebra on the move, followed every step by hungry predators, is quite remarkable. The famous river crossings offer the extraordinary spectacle of thousands of anxious animals routed into tight crossing points, dodging the huge Mara crocodiles waiting in their path. It’s an ancient battle of life and death, and one of the best wildlife shows on earth.
Wherever you decide to visit though, a safari is well worth every penny and it will surely make for a holiday that will be remembered for years and years to come.

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